From luxurious towers within Tokyo's most iconic — and frenetic — districts to Japanese-style ryokan rooms in quiet residential neighborhoods, Japan's capital offers accommodations to suit any traveler's taste. Perhaps the best way to experience the city is to split your time between the trendsetting and the traditional. Sleep above the swarming streets of Shinjuku while you explore the city, and then retreat to a ryokan for some rest and relaxation. Whichever style you prefer, the following hotels are the best in each of Tokyo's major neighborhoods.
Shinjuku: The Hilton Tokyo
Located just a 15-minute walk from the frenetic center of Shinjuku, the Hilton Tokyo offers a slice of peace amongst one of the city's most iconic neighborhoods. The over 800 rooms and suites at the Hilton feature minimalist, modern-Japanese-inspired decor, including traditional features like light diffusing shoji screens and, of course, the country's beloved high-tech TOTO toilets. The hotel's 24-hour health club offers outdoor rooftop tennis courts, an indoor lap pool, a fitness center and a Japanese bath. In 2014, the Hilton's dining selection got a design-focused upgrade from local architecture firm NAO Taniyama & Associates. Tsunohazu — the full-floor dining and lounge concept — offers Japanese, Chinese and steakhouse cuisine amongst native Japanese timber and washi paper accents.
Shibuya: The Shibuya Hotel En
The Shibuya Hotel En offers nearly 60 modern rooms within a ten-minute walk from Shibuya Station (and the famous Shibuya Crossing, where five crosswalks serve one big intersection, and tourists flock for obligatory selfies). The hotel was renovated in February 2016 to reflect an intersection of "Japanese tradition and Western functionality" in perhaps one of the city's most cramped and trafficked neighborhoods. Rooms are small but bright and feature design notes of wood, stone and concrete blocks. Three larger special rooms feature themed motifs on the ninth floor. All accommodations feature tiled bathrooms with glass shower stalls and heated toilets.
Tokyo Station/Otemachi: HOSHINOYA Tokyo
The brand-new Hoshinoya Tokyo occupies the entirety of a 17-floor tower in Otemachi, just minutes from Tokyo Station and shrouded completely in intricate botanical latticework. Hoshinoya guests immediately ditch their shoes (and the rest of Tokyo's frazzling energy) at check-in — the traditional ryokan-style hotel is a haven of whispers within Tokyo's urban environs. It's also the only luxury hotel harnessing the underground waters of the recently discovered Otemachi Hot Spring — the waters are pumped up into the tower's top floor where guests can bathe in open-air onsen baths under the stars. Rooms on each floor center around a communal Ochanoma Lounge, where guests can enjoy sake tastings and elevated instant ramen in the evenings, and onigiri rice balls come morning.
Ginza: The Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel
Location is the name of the game at the Solaria Nishitetsu, which is tucked amongst the swanky shopping streets of Ginza, just minutes from Ginza Station. The hotel offers modern rooms with clean lines — each room a perfect, if small, respite from Tokyo's hectic streets. Breakfast is available at Nishitetsu but not included in room rates, so take daily advantage of the hotel's proximity to the Tsukiji Market, where eating the world's freshest seafood for breakfast (in the form of sushi, skewers, or donburi bowls) is the norm.
Roppongi: The Grand Hyatt Tokyo
In one of Tokyo's most lively nightlife districts, there's no better night's sleep than the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. But don't just head back to the hotel's 387 rooms and suites when it's time to turn in. Be sure to schedule some time in your itinerary to make the most of the Hyatt's hot red granite and hardwood swimming pool, and spa with plunge pools and sauna. The hotel offers 10 restaurants and bars, including a traditional Japanese steakhouse with oak wood-burning ovens. Rooms at the Hyatt are stocked with mahogany furniture, luxurious Frette linens and limestone bathrooms.
Claska is Tokyo-hipster-kitsch at its best, and is really more of a destination than the residential Meguro neighborhood itself. The Insta-ready hotel features four room types, ranging from east-meets-west "tatami" rooms with platform beds and traditional rattan flooring, to "DIY" rooms furnished with products handmade by designers and artisans. The hotel is part of Claska's larger complex which includes a studio, gallery, design boutique, French restaurant and rooftop terrace, from which Mt. Fuji is visible on clear days. In true hipster fashion, Claska offers a bike rental service provided by TokyoBike, and is home to a popular dog grooming salon — DogMan.
Asakusa: Ryokan Kamagawa
In the heart of Tokyo's charming Asakusa neighborhood — today a destination for tourists looking to experience the Tokyo of decades past — Ryokan Kamagawa offers a traditional lodging experience representative of how many Japanese families still vacation today. Rooms (for 1-5 guests) are simply furnished with tatami mats and wooden tables during the day, and futon mattresses are laid out directly on the floor come evening. Kamagawa offers a small traditional bath (available for private use) and both Japanese and Western breakfasts. The Ryokan's friendly service and convenient location to Asakusa's main attractions — the ancient Buddhist Sensoji temple and the neighborhood's souvenir shopping street — make it the perfect place to settle into traditional Japan.
Ueno/Taito: The Edo Sakura
Near one of Tokyo's most iconic cherry blossom destinations, Ueno Park, the architect-owned Edo Sakura offers both traditional tatami and Western-style rooms on a quiet street in the residential Taito neighborhood. The hotel performs traditional tea ceremonies regularly, and offers private bookings for its tranquil Japanese bath. Breakfast is served with a view of the hotel's traditional stone garden courtyard.